Did Larry Ellison Forget to Read @Benioff’s Book?

I’ve been attending Oracle Open World all week and tracking the hashtag #oow11 on Twitter and I have to say both pale in comparison to Dreamforce 2011 in terms of energy, excitement and buzz. Until last night, when Marc Benioff tweeted that Larry had cancelled his keynote. The gloves came off and the tweet stream came alive.

Yes, the irony of student becoming teacher has not gone unnoticed in the twittersphere/blogosphere (or whatever the kids are calling it these days).

Yes, Salesforce runs on Oracle’s database, but in the direct CRM and PaaS channel, the two companies are direct competitors.

All Larry Ellison had to do was pick up Benioff’s book – Behind the Cloud and he would have noted Play #22 (and subsequently #23 and #24). It outlines many of the tactics salesforce.com deployed to successfully win the battle against Siebel back in the day (before they were acquired by Oracle). Going beyond the well-publicized protests (which he has also organized today), Benioff:

“Ran an ad against Seibel with a “Don’t get bullied” theme with a boy writing on the chalkboard, “I will not give my lunch money to Siebel” and “I will not spend my summer vacation installing Siebel.”

In the book he recommends that you, “Hit balls over the net to your competitors. By Siebel acknowledging Salesforce.com, they legitimized them.  The tail wagged the dog.”

Well it appears today that the dog is once again being wagged.

Check out how @benioff has dealt with the cancellation on Twitter – his keynote could still trump Oracle’s cloud session later in the day. Well played, sir!

You can watch Marc Benioff’s keynote live from the hotel next door or follow the streaming video here. As he says, The Cloud Must Go On!

Your move Larry…


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